A decent mid-range radio priced at £70 when it was available, the T6222 combined features with a decent Tx/Rx range and lengthy battery life.
The radio itself was available in three colours: Yellow (urgh!), blue (like mine) and black. In the pack came the radio, a belt-clip and the manual. Useful extras like a charger and a NiMH battery cost an extra £15, but were really essential for prolonged use.
On the front of the radio, buttons are clearly laid out, if a little small, with an orange power button to the top-left, a light button to the top-right, call and scan buttons on the far left and right and a cluster of buttons at the centre of the radio for PTT, Menu and -/+ buttons.
The display is also clear, though I have a feeling there's a fault on mine as the display is more of a faded grey rather than solid black. Pressing the Menu button accesses all the features in turn - channel, CTCSS, voice scrambler, call tone (ten available), VibrAlert/incoming transmission alarm, VOX on/off, VOX level (1-3), mic sensitivity (1-3), deselect channels from scan, power Off settings and a setting for the battery meter. A keypress-combination on power-up sets up a cut-down menu that controls the basics like channel/CTCSS, but annoyingly, disables the scan feature.
The radio excels in it's Tx/Rx performance. Personally, I have achieved up to ten miles from my bedroom window, but in the city centre (Manchester), I have only managed up to two miles, but with all those tall buildings, two miles is rather good. It may have been more, but I got the impression very few people were interested in answering back!
Now for the nags. From the perspective of using this radio as a repeater, there are problems. The radio has a built-in transmit cut-off that forces the radio to cease transmitting after a minute's continuous use. The aim behind this was to preserve battery power, particularly if you're out and about in a noisy environment and had the VOX option on. If local traffic activated the radio, it would shut off after a minute. Unfortunately, on the repeater side of things, this renders the radio largely useless, because if someone on the network talks for over a minute, the T6222 will cut out as it relays the transmission. on top of that, it will also emit a high-pitched tone until the VOX is deactivated (or the leads are pulled out!). Unfortunately, there is no way to disable this feature.
The second problem comes with the low power warning. For some very odd reason, it will beep once every fifteen minutes, even if there is enough battery power for another two hours' use. Obviously, this isn't a problem for the casual user (who would just ignore it), but on a repeater network, the PC will relay this warning as a transmission every fifteen minutes... Oh, and it can't be disabled either!
Overall a great radio for the price, and more than enough for its' intended use. But as a repeater, the power-saving options and alarms are too much of a hindrance.
Added: Saturday, March 22, 2003
Reviewer: Paul Evans